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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Mashed Potatoes

I've been seeing a lot of different versions of Apple Mashed Potatoes lately but I decided to do my own thing with them because I wanted to make it more of what my family would like. The most popular is Roasted Garlic Apple Mashed but I thought the garlic would overtake the apple taste, plus I wanted to them to be very kid friendly. I've seen everything from garlic to bacon to cheese & sour cream added in recipes. You can definitely make this your own, however you like. This recipe makes a huge serving so cut it in half for smaller portions. Went great with pork.

3 med - large green apples, peeled & sliced
7-8 med Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
2 TBS sugar
2 TBS ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup softened butter
1 cup milk (we use 1 %)
1 TBS salt (more or less to your liking)
1 TBS black pepper

Put the quartered potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Once soft, drain well.

Meanwhile, put the apple slices in a smaller pot with 2 TBS water. Cook on low - medium, stirring until they start to soften. Add the sugar, ground cinnamon and nutmeg, stir well. Begin mushing the apples. Add a pinch of salt. Season more to taste. Take off heat and set aside.

Put the pototoes in a large bowl and begin mashing. Add 1 TBS salt & 1 TBS pepper. Add the butter and milk and continue mashing. (You can add more butter or salt depending on your liking). Add the cinnamon apple mixture. Mix very well until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Rotisserie" Chicken - Crockpot

I love getting whole chickens and cooking them in the crockpot. The amount of meat you get off of 1 chicken can be stretched for a few meals, too! I can get 2 chicken pot pies and a large pot of chicken and dumplings out of one $5 chicken.. Also, the flavor of the slow cooked chicken really makes the other meals that much more delicious!

Aluminum Foil - not for consumption
1 whole chicken

(You can use ANY seasoning combination that you like.)

2 TBSP garlic seasoning
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Table Blend
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup water

In the bottom of your crockpot, place 4 balled up pieces of aluminum foil. Place whole chicken on top of aluminum foil balls 1/2 cup of water in the bottom. Sprinkle seasoning on the chicken. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. The meat will fall off of the bone.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Nothing says fall like these delicious muffins! The recipe makes close to 40 so you can freeze a bunch or hand them out to your friends, if you're feeling generous!

3 c sugar
1 c oil (1/2 oil and 1/2 applesauce works fine)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2/3 c milk
1 15 oz can of pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
1 bag (1 1/2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tins well and set aside. In a bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mix and blend. Add 1/2 the milk and 1/2 the can of pumpkin and mix. repeat. Fold in the chips and spoon the batter into the tins (about 2/3 full)

Bake for 20 min.

Yields about 3 1/2 dozen

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cheese & Pepperoni - don't mind if I do!!!!

Ok, yes I'm blogging this. Yes, it is nothing but cheese & pepperoni. However, it's amusing. I needed a last minute appetizer for guests that I didn't know were coming before I had went to the store earlier that day. So I dug around in my cabinets and made the best of what I had on hand and I think it turned out cute, with a side of funny. Everyone gobbled it up!! Seriously, the whole plate was gone within minutes! Good to know that appetizers can be this easy! I will definitely make this again and again while entertaining. Cheap & yummy. :)

Ritz crackers
Kraft Easy Cheese (or any bottle of cheesy whiz goodness)
Pepperoni Sticks sliced (I used the Hormel Turkey Pepperoni Sticks - only 50 calories per stick!)

Crackers, cheese on top, then a slice of pepperoni stuck in the cheese. I added the leftover pepperoni slices around the plate.

Mozzarella Tomato Caprese Salad

Super easy & yummy! Plus this looks pretty! Perfect side dish or appetizer for any Italian meal. The only thing is that you can't make it too far ahead of time. Prep the mozzarella and cut the tomatoes but wait until you are within an hour of serving before adding anything else.

Grape Tomatoes cut in half
Fresh Mozzarella Pearls (drained & laid on a plate lined with paper towels with another paper towel on top, at least 3-4 hours before serving to dry out)
Dried basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Balsamic Vinegar

Dry the mozzarella as directed above and wash the tomatoes. When ready to serve, cut the tomatoes in half, add them and the mozzarella to a serving dish. Add about 2 TBS of dry basil (more or less depending on your liking). Add 1 TBS EVOO, then 1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar. Toss well. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frugal Caramel Frap

Here is a recipe for mom's on a budget (especially this mom) who can't always afford the $5 fraps from those fancy chain stores.

Warning: This recipe has no actual measured ingredients. Just wing it and enjoy. At least you'll be getting some coffee in your system!

Blender filled with ice
cold coffee you never got to drink (thanks to the kids)
caramel sundae syrup in the easy squeeze bottle
nonfat milk
sugar, optional depending on your sweet tooth level


Squeeze caramel over ice, about 2 to 3 tablespoons
Add about 1 1/2 cups of coffee
Add a splash or more of milk, until the color looks like caramel

(This is where you would add that sugar if you desired. I'd say no more than 2 tsp. The caramel sauce is pretty sweet.)

Turn on your blender and make the magic happen.

Get a glass, bucket, old yogurt container and drizzle the caramel sauce all over the sides and bottom. Pour the mixture into the glass, throw a straw in it and yummmmm.

*Tip! Roll into pre-school pick-up with that bad boy and make all of the other mom's jealous.

Inside Out Turkey Cheese Burger

I absolutely love creating new turkey burgers. Last night I decided to make a "stuffed" turkey burger filled with cheddar cheese cubes. They were super yummy and very fun to eat with the cheese oozing out of the center!


1lb of lean turkey ground
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg (or egg substitute)
1 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
cubes of sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)

Combine first 5 ingredients and form into patties. Make a dent with your thumb and insert 2 cheese cubes. Form the meat around the cubes to seal them inside. Grill until internal temp is 170. Make sure you're taking the temperature of the meat, not the cheese!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grilled Pizza

Ok, this pizza seriously rocked! My husband came up with the recipe. Grilling the pizza definitely changed the flavor. Turned our ordinary pizza night into something new. You can make this any way you want. We like the fresh mozzarella & basil version but we made plain cheese & sauce for the kids. The most important part is to preheat your grill to medium heat and keep an eye on the pizza as it cooks so you don't burn the crust too much.

Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Grilled Pizza (with onion & pepper):
Sliced Fresh mozzarella (Cut into thin slices. Best to slice your cheese a few hours before you use it, place on a paper towel and lay another paper towel on top to absorb all the extra moisture. Refrigerate for several hours.)Fresh basil (remove stem, wash & dry well)
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)2 Tomatoes sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 green pepper
Pizza Crust (we love the 8" whole wheat Boboli Crust - everyone got their own personal pizza.)
Chop onion & pepper. Place in foil, splash with a little EVOO.
Grill onion & pepper in foil until tender. You can do it on stove also if you prefer.
Lightly brush 1/2 teaspoon EVOO onto top of the pizza crust.
Add tomatoe slices, then basil, then sprinkle the onion & pepper. Add the sliced cheese on top.
Place on grill and cook until crust is browned.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sloppy Janes

Friday night is usually pizza night at our house but this week I wanted to change it up. I had a pound of turkey ground thawed and wasn't really sure what to do with it. I decided to make a homemade version of Sloppy Joe's. This is so good. It has sweet and spicy flavors to it. Kids and adults will both love it!


1 med onion, chopped
1 med green pepper, chopped
1 lb turkey ground
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
3/4 cup of ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp minced garlic


Sautee' onion and pepper in EVOO. Brown turkey ground and add can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and garlic. Let simmer 10 to 15 minutes for all of the flavors to incorporate.

Serve on your favorite bread!